Show Notes

Welcome to Episode #149 of Way of the Bible podcast. This is our fifth of eight episodes in our nineteenth mini-series entitled, The Vineyard Owner’s Son. 

At the end of this episode, we’re going to hear Jesus teach his disciples relevant lessons for those who choose to follow him. These lessons include giving to the giving to the needy and prayer. 

My prayer for you is that you accept my challenge and reread these passages in conjunction with a Spiritual Formation exercise. I personally use the prayer practices taught by St. Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises, and there are others such as Lectio Devin. 

What I’ve discovered over the past eight months is that something I used to have difficulty approaching regularly has become an integral and passionate part of my daily life; prayer. I’ve come to learn prayer is merely speaking with God our Father through Jesus Christ our Lord continually throughout my day. It is what we were created to do and how we were fashioned to be – in union with our God and doing his will.

Spiritual Formation exercises are ancient, well studied, and proven effective by many over the centuries who have used them. In their writings they describe daily interaction and intimacy with Jesus Christ and his Father though the Holy Spirit. Life lived now in the kingdom of heaven/God on the earth transformed and in union with God on a continual basis.

I was formally taught in seminaries and learned from personal interactions with pastors and laymen within a non-denominational evangelical faith community to be suspicious of those who claim such a reality was available today. Possibly a work of God for the super Apostles and saints but not for the simple common believer.

My experience for the past twenty-five plus years as a believer was to daily read the Bible for personal edification, study the Bible for greater understanding, and to teach lessons from the Bible that encourage others to engage the word themselves. Often, I was given revelations of the Holy Spirit while reading or studying the text and enjoyed a long season of opportunities to teach the word of God to others. 

Over these years I’ve visited and been invited to attend numerous charismatic churches in the area and have attended services at many of them. My experience within them was pleasant. I sensed movement of the Spirit more readily in these churches but also sensed a lack of Scriptural foundation. During this time, I’ve also known and am still friends with many who made the switch from a conservative evangelical church to a conservative charismatic evangelical church. All was good.

In October 2023, as a result of seeking the Lord on the subject of Union with Christ, I was introduced to the St. Ignatius Spiritual Exercises. Using a Jesuit written workbook ordered from Amazon I spent thirty-two consecutive weeks immersed every morning in the word, seeking God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. 

I now attest, that I too, NOT A SUPER SAINT, just a normal Philip, have come to know and experience for myself daily intimacy with Jesus Christ and Father through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and the living and active word of God. Most listeners are likely how I used to be, finding it had to pray and skeptical of anyone who said otherwise.

I’m openly saying otherwise as I cannot deny what I have experienced and know to be true. That God really does love us and desire intimacy with us through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. I was under the impression this intimacy happened in heaven after I die. I now know Jesus has been waiting for me since I was a child to speak with me and introduce me to his and our Father. 

Will you join me on this journey? Listen to the rest of the episode and adapt a Spiritual Formation exercise of your choosing. Let me know if you need any help in getting started. 

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